GIRL IN A CARPORT by Jesse Lee Kercheval

Texas, 1959, a day so hot we are barely wearing clothes. My sister, the neighbor kids. There is no snapshot of this. And yet there is. This moment still exists—as all time does, time in motion an illusion. I am there. I am here. Sixty years later and still it is summer. I stand in the heat and feel I have just that second arrived there. In our carport, Texas, America, Earth, Life. Nothing makes sense. Who is this girl saying she is my sister? What are the other kid’s names? What is mine?

I feel the same way now.  Lost. Standing there feeling like where I should have a heart there is hole in my chest, a pain like a shotgun wound and the shot was rock salt. Such burning. Then. Now. Everyone else has the lines to the script. The big kids are bringing ice from the house to break on the driveway so when my mother pulls in so she will think it is covered in glass. They are laughing. I’m not. They are dancing with joy. I’m not. I am watching the ice turn to water, the water evaporate, so by the time my mother returns—it will be as if we were never there.





Photo used under CC.